I have made no bones about it. I do not like the Atlanta Hawks. I joked the last time that I didn't even like Spudd Webb which was true but amusing. I also don't like the guy who jumped over him who Jalen Rose says is keeping Chris Bosh's #4 warm for him till 2010. I am glad to see that others feel the same as me about 2010. Jack Armstrong on Wednesday on his Radio Show went off about Lebron James and all of this 2010 non sense. Paul Jones and Eric Smith also talked about Lebron doing a press conference with the Knick back drop behind him. Note to the Cleveland Cavs...You PR director is not doing a good job to let this happen. But hey maybe he tried and this was Lebron playing games. Just like with his new red kicks and that Yankee baseball cap. Enough is enough with all of this. David Stern I mean could you please address this in some way. Sure it might be cool with you if Lebron goes to New York. But last I checked Cleveland, Toronto and Miami were all equal partners in this thing we call the NBA show them and their fans some respect. You may not be able to stop ESPN from turning this into the focus of the next 14 months but there are rules about tampering and you can tell players to not comment on this stuff. If you can make them have a dress code you can at least have them show a little loyalty to the clubs that pay their salary? I would like to think so. I needed to get that off of my chest.
Now The Dirty Birds
I may not like the Hawks but that being said the last time they met up with the Raptors it was like they took their lunch money. The Raptors got mauled in Atlanta and it was not pretty. The Raps have an impossible road swing out west in which they face the Lakers, Nuggets and Jazz. A win against Atlanta would be really needed. But it is unclear if Jermaine O'Neal will play. I am not convinced that the performance against the Bobcats can be repeated. Chris Bosh if there is no O'Neal should see more double teams. But with better players making them. Joey Graham have back to back performances? I guess it is possible but do I have any faith in that? No. Joe Johnson who is going to shut him down? It is going to be tough for the Raptors.
One thing the Raptors will not have to deal with is Josh Smith who was injured versus the Raptors and is out of the line-up for the Hawks. But Smith was out early in that game. The Hawks still went on to a fairly easy win. Mike Bibby had an amazing game the last time these two hooked up. The Raptor perimeter defense was exposed by the Hawks. It will take an improvement in that area for sure. One thing is for sure if the Raptors get a win it will be a well earned one.
Practice On Thanksgiving? Not For A.I
Well this is what I was concerned about coming to light.You have a rookie head coach in Michael Curry and a superstar that doesn't like practice. When Detroit had a practice scheduled on Thanksgiving and Allen Iverson was a no show it seemed almost to predictable. Curry said to Detroit paper that is not surprised if someone is late. He is surprised when they don't show up. But this is a guy that went on a rant about practice not meaning anything in his time with the Sixers. Joe Dumars even brought up the event in the press conference to announce the trade for Iverson. The Pistons are going to be giving what they called a hefty fine and Rodney Stuckey will start in place of Iverson for game against the Bucks tonight. It will be interesting to see if this is just a single incident or if it will become a battle of wills between Curry and Iverson. If you are a Piston fan thinking or hoping that A.I will re-sign with the Pistons this maybe the first sign of not to hold your breath on that. The Dino Nation Blog is sorry to be talking about practice A.I but if you had of shown up we wouldn't be.
Contest and Mail
You have till December 3rd to get your entries in for your Chance to see T.J Ford's return with me. I am a friendly person and will be happy to do my best to make sure the winner has an excellent time. So don't miss out on a chance to see a big game on the schedule for the Raptors. I hope you all have your thinking caps on coming up with some creative entries. I look forward to checking them all out. Thanks again to Raptorman.ca for helping me make this contest possible.
Also along with this contest, on December 4th I am asking for your mail to respond to. I call it the Nation Speaks and that means you folks that read. So if you have a question or comment you would like me to respond to send it to me via e-mail. I have wanted to do this for awhile. So I hope it will be successful. That will take your support. I may not have all the answers but I will give it my best shot.
So if you have an entry for the contest or want to send mail for Nation Speaks. it all goes to the same place.
Mark contest entries : Return of T.J Contest and the mail: Nation Speaks.
I have an interview to do today and you should see the results of that over the weekend. There is also of course the game tonight with the Hawks and the Raptor Rewind. So I will see you later tonight.